Carole Blueweiss

How Inge Barth-Grozinger’s Book United the Levi Family

Literature: Just in time with the new edition of “Something Remains” by the Ellwangen author, another descendant of her book protagonists reported. By Dagmar Oltersdorf

Life writes the best stories. The Ellwangen author Inge Barth-Grozinger knows this quite well. And once again experienced it myself. Because of the Levis, the Ellwanger family from their first novel, “Something Remains,” accompanies them to this day: “The fact that it goes on and on is really moving.”

The youth novel about the fate of the Jewish family and especially their son Erich in Ellwangen during the time of National Socialism was published 15 years ago. His cousin Erwin, who is almost the same age, also appears in the novel. Now there was a second edition in the beginning of November. And almost at the same time, another member of the Levis who once emigrated contacted Inge Barth-Grozinger. An almost unbelievable coincidence brought the two together.

Carol Blueweiss is the name of the woman who contacted us by email.” says Inge Barth-Grozinger. A name that initially has no connection to the family Levi. And yet the New Yorker grabbed it when she saw the English-speaking one in the bookstore. She discovered the “Something Remains” edition in the bookstore. She brought the book back for her 13 year old son and then read it herself. Because what was written as a young adult novel is a gripping piece of regional contemporary history that thousands of adult readers have also devoured “And the more Carol read, the more amazed she became, because she realized that it was about her own grandmother’s story “, Inge Barth-Grozinger is still a bit surprised herself. Because Erich’s father Julius had a sister: Mina Strauss. And that was Carol Blueweiss’ great-grandmother: “And so it was revealed to her while reading that Michael, Erich’s son, is a completely unknown grand-cousin.” For Inge Barth-Grozinger it is obvious: after the Levi family had emigrated to America, the individual family members lost contact with each other “I have not yet found out whether they were all traumatized, whether there were any animosities that are the reason for this”, tells the author. Actually, she could almost have asked the family members that personally: It was originally planned that the New York Levis would come to Ellwangen when the second edition of “Something Remains” came on the market on November 2nd. But the date was too short. “I would have been very happy if I had met her,” says Inge Barth-Grozinger.

After her discovery, Carol immediately contacted Inge Barth-Grozinger and Michael, who works as a medical director at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in New York. And he lives not far from her, “just around the corner” says Inge Barth-Grozinger. Michael, on the other hand, is retired and was also very happy about this contact: “He is very open to the family history” says the author, who initiated contact with the descendant and never let it be torn down. 

In the meantime, the New York Levis have met in their home country for a “family reunion”, as Inge Barth-Grozinger calls it: “There is lively contact. It is a generation that obviously sees it as a privilege to still have each other. “

Inge Barth-Grözinger currently lives in the Black Forest. The former teacher of the Peutinger-Gymnasium Ellwangen was born there, her elderly mother lives there and she takes care of her. Nevertheless, she hopes that the Levis will soon meet in Ellwangen. “When the first book was published, Michael got to know his roots. It would be nice if more members of the family could come together for the second edition,” says Inge Barth-Grozinger: “Now let’s hope that the Levi family will visit us soon, I would like to meet Carol Blueweiss.”

Inge Barth-Grozinger thinks that her book is now in a second edition given the expiry date on the book market. She herself is currently working on another historical novel. It’s about the story of a hotel in the Black Forest. The time period covers the years 1789 to 1945. Lots of research work. Don’t even think about it. I couldn’t do anything else,” she says.

That she will write another book about the following generations of Levis? Not excluded. “When I know more,” says Inge Barth-Grozinger: “I’m really happy that my book has such a long-lasting effect.”

Captions from top to bottom, left to right:

Inge Barth-Grozinger is pleased with the long-term impact of her book “Something Remains.” 

Family reunion in New York: A photo of Erwin Levi, Erich’s son Michael (L) and his cousin, Erwin’s son Andy. Photos: Private

Michael Levi and Carol Blueweiss. 

Blue caption: “I would like to get to know Carol Blueweiss”

Inge Barth-Grozinger, Author

The author and her books

Inge Barth Grozinger, born in 1950, was born in Bad Wildbad in the Black Forest. For a long time she was a teacher for German and history at the Peutinger-Gymnasium and is retired.

Inge Barth-Grozinger has now published five novels: “Something Remains”, the three-part Black Forest family saga “Berry Summer” with the books “Berry Summer”, Gooseberry Years and “Beloved Berthe” as well as the novel “Stormy Spring”